Comprehensive Analysis of Proliferation Protection of Uranium due to the Presence of 232U and its Decay Products
For a comprehensive analysis of proliferation protection of uranium from unauthorized use due to the presence of uranium-232 in it, an integral indicator of proliferation protection of the material has been proposed and substantiated. The indicator is based on the physical barriers against the use of uranium that uranium-232 creates. First, it is the radiolysis of uranium hexafluoride, which prevents attempts to enrich uranium and, as a consequence, a significant critical mass. Secondly, hard gamma radiation, leading to incapacity and death of those who try to handle this material without radiation protection. Thirdly, the increased heat generation, disabling the components of a nuclear explosive device. Fourth, a significant source of neutrons, causing pre-detonation and thereby reducing the energy output of a nuclear explosive device. Barriers appear at different stages of uranium handling, not only in the indicated order, but also act simultaneously, mutually reinforcing each other.
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proliferation protection of uranium integral indicator of proliferation protection of the material radiolysis of uranium hexafluoride critical mass hard gamma radiation heat generation source of neutrons
Link for citing the article: Kulikov G.G., Shmelev A.N., Apse V.A., Kulikov E.G. Comprehensive Analysis of Proliferation Protection of Uranium due to the Presence of 232U and its Decay Products. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2022, no. 2, pp. 161-173; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2022.2.15 (in Russian).